Onam, a festival full of tradition, a festival to thank the God of harvest, a festival to welcome the King back home. This festival, with rich culture as its backbone, is what we have brought to you. So, read on..
Onam in 2013 is on the 16th of September. This is a festival celebrated at a grand scale all over Kerala, India. The festival is celebrated in the memory of King Mahabali and also as the harvest festival. The main highlights of this festival is its rich cultural background, the beautiful Poo Kolams (flower Rangolis) and the magnificent boat races, which are organised specially for this occasion. The festival is celebrated for a period of 10 days. This festival is celebrated in the Chingam month of the Malayalam Solar calendar.
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The festival of Onam has a lot to offer like its mesmerising folk dance, Puli Kali, boat racing, Onathallu, Onapottan, Kummattikali, Kazhachakal in Guruvayur, mouth watering festive delicacies (Sadhya) and many more. Now, lets know more about all this in detail.
The festival of Onam is a grand celebration done for a period of ten days. So, let’s now know the significance of each day.
The first day of the festival is called Atham.
Atham is celebrated to welcome the King Mahabali. People of Kerala had a very wealthy and prosperous time under the rule of King Mahabali. It is believed that every year on this day the king pays a visit to Earth from netherworld (Patala Lok). They welcome the King by dancing, singing and making beautiful Poo Kolams at the entrance of their homes. The size of the Pookalam gradually increases from the first day to the tenth day of celebration, Thiruvonam.
The second day of the festival is called Chitira.
This day is spent in the preparation for Thiruvonam. The houses are painted new and redecorated.
The third day of the festival is called Chodi.
This is a day most looked forward to by all. Yes! its the time for shopping.
The fourth day of the festival is called VishaKam.
This is a very eventful day as games and competitions take place on this day. Pookalam competition reaches a different level altogether on this day.
The fifth day of the festival is called Anizham.
This day is very important, as the dress rehearsal for the very popular boat race called Aranmula takes places. This event is called Vallam - Kali
The sixth day of the festival is called Thriketa.
On this day, holidays are declared for schools and colleges. Festivities gear up at homes for the final day, Thiruvonam.
The seventh day of the festival is called Moolam.
Special traditional lunches called Sadhya are arranged at temples on this day. People also get to witness the traditional Puli Kali (leopard dance) on this day.
The eighth day of the festival is called Pooradam.
On this day the idols of King Mahabali and Lord Vamana is taken for processions. The Pookalam are made in large sizes to give a grand welcome to the King and Lord Vamana.
The ninth day of the festival is called Uthradom.
On this day of Onam’s eve, the preparations for Thiruvonam reach another level. It is believed that on this day, King Mahabali visits all his people. Therefore, grand buffet is arranged and celebrated.
The tenth day of the festival is called Thiruvonam.
This day marks the end to the ten day celebrations, as such it is given a grand send off. It is believed that, it was on this day that King Mahabali left to the netherworld (Patala Lok) and was also blessed by Lord Vishnu by the boon to visit his people every year.
Onam is one festival which you have to witness at least once in person to know the magnitude of its celebrations. Wishing you all - A Very Happy and Prosperous Onam!
If you wish to know more about this extraordinary festival, click here - Onam In Kerala